01 June 2012

Radiohead Frequencies

This weekend, my lovely wife Sarah and I will be going to the Radiohead concert here in DC. I'm new to the concert-going world, so I've had to learn some etiquette from Sarah. One thing I see her do (sometimes) is look up set lists from a band's current tour and try to guess what songs they will play at the concert she attends.

I decided to do this for Radiohead, but as always, I overcomplicated things and put my own nerdy, statistician(y) twist on it. I took each set list from the King of Limbs tour and calculated the frequency with which each unique song has been played. Then I made some pretty [informative] graphics.

The Frequency of Songs Played
What Albums Are Played the Most?

As you can see, yes, I'm a nerd. Second thing, some of the albums (the y-axis above) are made up names like "Secret," etc. I did my best to determine what songs came from which album, and that's what I got. Also note that Pablo Honey has not been played at all. Sad day.

Next, I sampled from the distribution of songs using the frequency/total concerts as the probability of being sampled to come up with a probable set list for DC's show this weekend.Observe:
  • Pyramid Song
  • Reckoner
  • Bloom
  • Morning Mr. Magpie
  • Lotus Flower
  • Feral
  • Weird Fishes/Arpeggi
  • Paranoid Android
  • Airbag
  • How to Disappear Completely
  • Karma Police
  • Staircase
  • These are my Twisted Words
  • Exit Music (for a Film)
  • Everything in its Right Place
  • Nude
  • There There
  • The Daily Mail
  • Identikit
  • Lucky
  • Idioteque
  • Myxomatosis
  • Street Spirit (Fade Out)
I'd be VERY happy with that show! We'll see how close I come! And Mr. Yorke, if you're reading, it would be really sweet if you played just ONE song from Pablo Honey. Any song will do. Also, please play Fake Plastic Trees. And while I'm at it, I wouldn't mind hearing Talk Show Host, Last Flowers to the Hospital, Down is the New Up, and Punch Up at a Wedding. Thanks!

And thank you, reader, for reading! Love.

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11 November 2011

Day 8

It's 11/11/11, folks. I could only say that I wish I would have sold iPhone 3 days earlier so I could call this day 11. This temporary technological digression has its perks.

Some of you will have seen the website Wrong Number Texts. I can sit and laugh at it for hours. If you so choose, look it up, but a disclaimer: YOU WILL BE OFFENDED. Don't say I didn't warn you.

On to better things, I have a story for you. Ever since Shanefert showed me the aforementioned website, I have greatly desired to experience a wrong number text myself. Good things come to those who wait. Since I have an archaic phone, there was no easy way to transfer numbers from iCloud to the dinosaur. So I decided not to transfer any numbers. If someone texts or calls, I'll go ahead and save his or her number. Else, well, sorry.

Anydangway, Sarah and I began to Jones for a Starbucks. My roommate Angie works at one here in Ye Olde Towne, and we frequently frequent and receive free drinks. It's pretty much the best thing ever. This was one of those nights in which we received such an drink and thus our Jones was satisfied at no cost to us. (Thanks, Angie!) As the story goes, The Bucks got super busy as we were conversing with Ye Olde Angie, so we left without having a chance to say "Thank you!" as we normally would. We are buena gente, mind.

So I text my other roommate Georff (name changed to protect identity) and ask for Angie's number (since I don't have it). Note that this is breaking my rule, but this situation called for the rule breaking to occur. He politely sends the number via text message, which, fortunately, my phone is able to receive. The conversation is thus:

Leon: Hey man! Thank you so much for the drinks. Love you man!
Angie: You’re welcome! Hope u enjoyed ur diet tab
Leon: Haha I could go for a diet tab right now. :)
Angie: Haha oh no im sorry but I don’t know who this is….I thought it was my mom :/
Leon: Is this angie? And your mom likes diet tab?
Angie: Haha no and yes…..I thought everyone did
Leon: I’m a big fan of coke zero myself. But if I think about it, my mom has probably drunk a diet tab or two in her time.
Angie: You’re lucky she stopped at only two…mother has tried to stop or so she says, but she hides it from us. Father has tried to stop her but the energy increase she gets from tab makes it impossible to catch her…
Leon: Oh no! That’s terrible! I have seen some tab addicts before, but nothing that extreme. It may sound harsh, but you should try setting traps. It may be the only way to save her!
Angie: You are wise indeed my friend but mother knew we would try this and tried we have, but no she had prepared by watching countless re-runs of Miami vice and is always one step ahead….

Ha. Well it happened, and that's thanks to letting go of technology for a couple of weeks and using the ol' clamshell. Thanks, clamshell. If "Angie" ever texts back, I will add an addendum here. It's also important to note that the number I texted was exactly the number Georff sent me, which means that he either has the wrong number for Angie or decided to play a trick on me. I say it's the latter.

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09 November 2011

Day 6

I gave a blanket one-finger salute as I exited the belt route this morning. I blame it on The Samsung since I couldn't tweet about how horrible the traffic was and I couldn't update my facebook status to say, "That guy next to me is such a jerk. Look at him singing to his music and staying calm in this horrible traffic. I bet GAW would throw something at him."

The other wrong today is the discovery (that actually happened yesterday) that the local 7-Eleven no longer serves #CokeZero on tap. I have nothing to cease the twitches that are now inevitably prevalent.

There were three things yesterday that I wanted to take snap a picture of. Guess what? No camera.

The Samsung has, however, offered me the ability to pay more attention to conversations I'm a part of with coworkers and friends. Even if the topic goes to politics or sports, I have no Twitter or Hanging with Friends to save me. This forces me to actually participate (i.e. daydream) in the conversations. In other words, I don't know how much more of this I can stand. Stay tuned.

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04 November 2011

Day 1

I decided I no longer want to be the owner of an iPhone. The convenience. The comfort. The ability it has given me to sleep through alarms consistently. And don't get me started on productivity productivity productivity productivity.

So I picked up (borrowed from Sarah's mom) a Samsung SGH-A117. It's a wonderful little clam shell phone. For those of you don't remember what that is, think small flip phone with rounded edges. For those of you who don't remember what a flip phone is, get lost, take a hike, etc. It features, well, nothing really. An alarm clock (which I slept through), a calculator, speed dial (though you can't assign a contact to a speed dial), and a world clock. You can text with t9, so it's back to writing sentences such as, "Hey do you want to in to the mother with of i hear its really home." (typos/grammar errors on purpose)

Day 1 thoughts: I'm doing fine. In the short few hours that I've been awake, I've begun to develop a slight twitch, though the Coke Zero seems to suppress that for now. Stay tuned!

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22 October 2011

Leon Update

Yes, folks, I'm back. Get excited.

So, here's what I'm sure you all want to know: no, I still haven't invented teleportation. I'm working on it, however.

Some possible benefits of teleportation:
  • You can go wherever you want, whenever you want
  • Isn't that enough?
Possible...non-benefits of teleportation:
  • I can't really think of any
  • You might not get "put back together" correctly. Eek.
So there you have it. Pros and cons. Check.

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21 October 2011


Wanna know the best part about fall?

Squash Soup

Pumpkin Pie

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17 March 2011


Fear is a serious matter.

Our story begins today, March 17, 2011, St. Patrick's Day, 3 days after March 14, 2 months and 10 days after January 7, 2 months and [some] days before June 15. On this particular morning, I woke up as I do every morning, tired, roll off the couch, fumble around for my glasses without which I can see naught but the brown pointy things on the other side of the room which seem to be flirting with me, glasses on, realize the brown pointy things are straws stained with left over coke and enumerate the number of times I've gone to White Castle this week alone, and after I catch my legs underneath me which are aching due to another night having passed out on the couch, I trip over the shoes and socks that line the way through my living room, to the kitchen, to the bathroom, to the shower. Someday I'm going to pick those up. Wet then dry. Being too mirror-inept to use a hair straightener, I comb my hair straight down which, when it dries, creates a nice Bieberesque effect. Choose the cleanest clothes that match out of the mountain that now makes up the middle of my bedroom floor. Skip breakfast. I'll eat some Werther's Originals once at work, and there's that basket full of Jolly Ranchers that continuously calls my name. Leon. Leon! Shake such nonsense out of my head as my hair, now dry, falls softly over my eyes. In my dreams. Teeth brushed. Smile glistening. I'm getting so efficient at this that the words I scribbled on the mirror months ago are still slowly fading as the steam in the bathroom lifts, reminding me that there's a zombie out there for everyone, even me. Lock the door. Double check the door. Unlock the car. Keys. Ignition. I escape to that imaginary place as I pull out backwards then forwards and somehow arrive at work with no clue as to how I made it alive.

Now at work, conversation with coworker about food begins, the realization that it's now the 17th of March sets in as I look at the LCD interactive interface on the upper-right side of my phone which reads, "March 17 2011." Take off my glasses to clean them with the blue lens cloth secured safely in the top left drawer, right above the chamber which houses that bag of Werther's, a box of oatmeal, some Halloween candy, a bag of pretzels that might be nearing one year old, and a 2009 due-dates calendar that lines the bottom of the drawer. I look around before returning the glasses their home on the bridge of my nose and notice blurs and streaks of different shades of green. As these shapes gain focus, I become aware that everyone is wearing green. I'm wearing purple. Root around in that top drawer and behold! I find a pin with just enough green to satisfy even the strictest abider of St. Patrick's day etiquette. As I don the pin I feel a sharp pain. Am I sticking myself with the pin? No. The pain is coming from another location. My arm, left, bicep, sharp! Pain! AGONY! PINCH?!

"You're not wearing green."

"Aha! Alas, methinks this looks like green. What sayest thou, ya big jerk?" I reply, signaling with my right index finger to the pin that should have saved me from such devotion to the pinching game that takes place every 17th of March. "How would you like not one, but TEN pinches?"

Pinch. Pinch. Pinch. Pinch. Pinch. Pinch. Pinch. Pinch. Pinch. Pinch.

"You're a cheater! You cheater!" he announces to the rest of the office, and half of Columbia, as he walks away sporting 10 mini welts that are now as red as a green bowling ball isn't.

I would feel sympathy pain were it not for my own pinch-pain from that pinch that was so carefully chosen to attack the most sensitive piece of flesh on the backside of the bicep. Suddenly waterfalls causing pools and floods of memories begin taking over my already-cluttered mind. Every single St. Patrick's day of every single year of my existence was displayed before my imaginary gaze. Then it happened. The pain of a suppressed memory attempting to surface itself after 19 years of being dormant overtook the now-numbed pinch-pain in my upper arm.

I stood 4-foot-9, my boat-shaped, webbed-toed feet perched me up as I began washing my hands in the boys' bathroom. I looked in the mirror at the awkward, adolescent face staring back at me. The pain in my left arm was gone. It was March 17th, 1992. I was in the fourth grade.

St. Patrick's day. This only meant one thing. I zip out of the bathroom and rush over to my backpack, carefully avoiding the piles of desks and tote trays which carefully lined the walls of the classroom creating a perfectly open space in which 30 kids can sit on the floor and watch a movie. Open the bag: it was there! A 20 oz. Dr. Pepper with the regular, screw-on cap switched for a nozzle top taken from a similarly sized bottle of Geyser a day earlier, accompanied by an entire can of BBQ Pringles, all for yours truly. Movie day means bring-a-soda-and-snack-to-school day. Excitedly I rip the clear, plastic cover off the nozzle, bite the tip with my teeth, and pull up. I'm a quick learner. For example, I learned right now that, when a bottle of soda has been resting quietly in the bottom of a 4th-grader's backpack, and when only a few hours before, that same backpack was resting on the shoulders of that same 4th-grader who walked, ran, jumped, probably fell down multiple times due to his oversized feet on the way to school, and was then tossed into the corner as he hung up his jacket, and then hung on the same hook, a few hours is not enough time for all that pressure contained within a presently bulging, thin layer of cylindrical plastic to settle, and when an opening at last presents itself, that soda is going to rush out like Old Faithful after waiting exactly 1 hour into whatever cavernous space now surrounds the opening.


Back in the bathroom. Shirt now patted down with paper towels. That's going to be sticky. Still unable to breathe through my nose, I find a nice spot on the not-so-nice floor, and the movie begins. Darby O'Gill and the Little People. What is this, 30 years old? Oh look, a little guy. Music. Borrrring. Wind howls. Wind? Nay, the Banshee! Her scream! HER SEE-THROUGH FACE! HER CARTOON ARMS FLAILING ABOUT! STOP! YOUR LANTERN CAN'T SAVE YOU! YOU'RE DEAD, DARBY O'GILL! RUN!!!

As the years have passed, what is the only fear I have ever had? Camping. Sleeping outside. Sleeping on the trampoline. Tent. By the fire. Not by the fire. Miles from nowhere. Backyard. It didn't matter. The second the wind starts blowing, howling, I know the truth. That's no wind. It's the Banshee. We're all screwed. Hide inside my sleeping bag. Cower. I'm a coward. Flashes of light! It's HER! LeOnNNn! LeeOONN!!! Cartoon arms. LEOonn!


Splash! Cold water. I snap out of it. I'm laying on the office floor that we only think has been vacuumed, but that crumb in the corner tells me differently. A coworker stands over me. "Leon, are you alright?!"

"Yes. It's time to face my fears."

"Where is he going?" I hear them inquire as I grab my purple jacket. Storm out of work. Car. Keys. Ignition. Best Buy. Look around at Apple stuff. Talk video games with nerdy employee. Find movie. Pay. Imagination mode. Home. Projector: on. Movie: in. Volume: up. Sean Connery? Bad actors. 1959, what did I expect? Music. Chuckles. Oh look, a little guy. Cool fiddle. Mini horses? Silly dialogue. Fun. Wind howls...no...no, not again....it's Her. The Banshee. Frightened. Thumb in mouth. Close eyes. Cowering. Coward. Open your eyes! It's fake! Cartoon arms? Flailing?! Darby! RUN!!! It's over.

I faced my fears.
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11 December 2010

Christmas Musicks

I just have to share this because...well, I love Christmas musicks, and I'm in love with She of She & Him.

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